Telling the true story of 2015’s Hatton Garden Robbery, King of Thieves assembles an all-star cast to pull off the job, but doesn’t quite get away with it.
The British legends involved in this project are amazing; Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winston, Michael Gambon, Paul Whitehouse and Tom Courtney all-star as a bumbling group of old men who plan a robbery of London’s Hatton Garden. Under the pretence that no one will suspect a load of incapable old men, they set off planning how to pull off the job and how to ditch the loot afterwards. The cast, unsurprising, are all fantastic.
Most of the humour in the film comes from them showing their age, including high class examples of Jim Broadbent being injected with insulin in his arse, and Michael Gambon peeing in a sink. However, some of the humour, meant to show their age, feels misguided and offensive as they make derogatory comments against homosexuals and foreigners.
The heist, thankfully, occurs soon in the film, and this means the rest of the film explores the events after he heist. We know they pulled off the job, so it’s far more interesting to see the dynamics of the team change as jealousy, greed and anger rear their heads. The film uses a jazz score and jolty editing to call back to classic heist films, while also demonstrating the order and chaos that ensue in a heist.
One great method the film used was splicing in short scenes from the actors when much younger appearing in other heist films. This method allowed them to represent how young the characters felt while pulling off the heist, and it was equally fun to see how the cast have changed over the years. It showed that the film knew it was unoriginal in some ways, and the fact that it used such generic genre troupes was somewhat excusable.
Overall, King of Thieves is a fun film. It’s nothing new or original, and the story is already known. But with such a compelling cast giving great performances, the film moves along swiftly and delivers an interesting message about age and societies perception of the elderly.